Everyone looks forward to Memorial Day because it is the first of the three-day holiday weekends for the summer. Many Floridians like to kick off the event with a barbecue or friendly gathering. West Palm Beach car accident attorneys agree that long weekends are enjoyable as long as everyone drives responsibly in the midst of congested traffic and parties serving alcohol.
The National Safety Council is urging motorists nationwide to buckle up for safety this Memorial Day weekend in order to avoid a tragic car accident in Fort Lauderdale, Miami or elsewhere in the state.
Due to the high volume of traffic on roadways, Memorial Day is one of the most dangerous holiday weekends of the year. In 2009, there were 462 fatalities nationwide during Memorial Day Holiday Period which begins Friday at 6 p.m. through Monday at 11:59 p.m. This Memorial Day weekend, the NSC is estimating 39,400 medically treated injuries and 406 traffic fatalities from car accidents during the Memorial Day Holiday Period. Previous years have shown an average of 12.2% more traffic fatalities during Memorial Day weekend in comparison to a similar non-holiday weekend.
In 2009, Florida ranked near the top among states for car crashes throughout the year, reporting 20 fatal crashes on Memorial Day alone. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56 people lost their lives in Florida on Memorial Day 2009. Memorial Day accounted for almost 12 percent of the total fatalities for the month of May in Florida.
The NHTSA will run its annual Click It or Ticket campaign from May 23 to June 5, 2011. During this time, state law enforcement officers in Florida and nationwide will have a zero tolerance for seat belt laws which means anyone without a belt strapped over them will be pulled over and ticketed on the spot.
Keep yourself safe this Memorial Day weekend by using the following safety tips from NSC:
-Don’t put the car in drive until you check that everyone has their seat belts fastened. Children should always be placed in an age-appropriate child restraint seat.
-Moderate alcohol consumption reduces your reaction time and affects your ability to drive, so designate a driver if you intend to drink alcohol at a picnic or barbecue.
-Tired drivers make for dangerous driving situations, so if you feel drowsy, call someone to pick you up.
-Traffic will be heavy throughout the weekend, so plan to leave early to avoid being late.
-Exercise caution and defensive driving skills during stormy weather. Postpone your plans to avoid driving in heavy rain.
The car accident lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC represent victims and their families in Margate, Miami, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call 1-800-561-7777 today for a free consultation to discuss your rights.